Shooting Up

I have some other posts ready to roll this week, but then yesterday I had a doctor’s appointment and I need to share those details with you. Don’t worry, there’s no “turn your head and cough” stories coming here……

For much of my life, I have dealt with what I usually call “mild allergies.” For example, mowing the lawn usually leaves me sneezing, congested and with itchy eyes for a couple of hours. Historically, if I am somewhere where there’s cats, I can last about 2-3 hours before I start feeling it. Then I’d have an occasional day when I’d be congested and sneezing off and on all day for what seemed like no reason. Just random. All of this was never dramatic enough for me to run the allergy doctor screaming. It’s always been something that I just dealt with because it wasn’t necessarily debilitating, just annoying.

However, since the last week of August this past year, I’ve been congested every single day. No lie. It’s been like having a cold for four consecutive months. I have never really experienced anything like it. Initially I wrote it off to more aggressive seasonal allergies. Then my twisted mind had me thinking that I had three months to live, that I had some kind of rare disease that starts with a few months of congestion and ends with all of my limbs falling off. I know, I know, it’s ridiculous. But the four months of congestion was enough – I went screaming to the allergist.

Ever had an allergy test? It’s a laugh riot. You take off your shirt, lay down on your stomach and they write all kinds of numbers and letters on your back and then give you little injections, five at a time. For me, I had 35 injections done on my back and 5 more on my left arm, all in one sitting. Then they make you sit and wait for 15 minutes to see how your skin reacts to the injections and the only instructions from the doctor are “do NOT itch your back or arm.”

Well, before I even hit the waiting room to serve my 15 minute sentence, it felt like 30 horse flies were biting me. I knew I was in trouble. Fifteen minutes later – the LONGEST fifteen minutes of my life, perhaps – they came back in and got me. And this (the picture is not me) is very similar to what my back looked like. Fun, huh!?

Turns out I am allergic to Earth. Or, more specifically:

  • Grass Pollen
  • Birch Pollen
  • Oak Pollen
  • Maple Pollen
  • Ragweed Pollen
  • Mugwort Pollen (is that some kind of Harry Potter pollen?)
  • Beech Pollen
  • Ash White Pollen
  • Poplar Pollen
  • Hickory Pollen
  • Cat Hair
  • Dog Hair
  • DF Mites
  • DP Mites
  • House Dust

Like I said, Earth. The solution, other than Kevorkian, you ask? well, my wife had a good idea – I may want to pursue being the next bubble boy. Ah, I kid. And I hope she was kidding. Nasal spray is the first step. So we’ll see where that goes. But the doctor said a full skull transplant isn’t out of the question. That might help in more than one way.

By the way, the injections weren’t painful at all……the silver lining, I suppose. I think my favorite moment of the afternoon was when the doctor examined my ears, mouth and nose and said “I think you’ve been living with congestion for so long that you’ve become so used to it and don’t even remember what it’s like to have a real sense of smell.”